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Kim was running a yoga business from home and so was available all day, but there would be no more formal lessons – the children would simply follow where their interests led.
She concedes that what her kids do all day won’t look like learning, if the word conjures up a classroom.
Developmental psychologist Dr Alan Thomas, a visiting fellow at the UCL Institute of Education who has studied what he calls “informal” or “autonomous” families, believes the lack of curricular flexibility is one reason why parents are increasingly being put off the traditional school system.
“Children are treated like jugs to be filled with knowledge,” he says.
But ever-tightening legislation around education is making home educators nervous.
In July, after a two-year battle, Kensington and Chelsea Council finally withdrew an order forcing a mother to send her 11-year-old son to school; while in 2009, the Government tried to introduce legislation forcing home educators to register (it was dropped in the face of opposition).
Three years ago, she was a Gina Ford-following, routine-adhering mother of four.
Her RU blog may have seen hits double in a year, but she will only speak anonymously.
Radical unschoolers don’t just take their kids out of formal education, they impose no arbitrary rules at all: no lessons, no imposed bedtimes, no screen-time limit, no enforced eat-your-greens. “I knew in my heart that this made sense – I have craved freedom my entire life.
I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.” Her husband, Ryan, was not so easily convinced: “Sounds like chaos to me,” was his initial response. Corey, now nine, and Kai, now seven – the only two of their children in school at the time – didn’t return after Christmas.
“I wouldn’t want to wave a flag that says, ‘Come and find me,’” she says.
Alison stumbled on the concept of unschooling when her eldest child was a baby, but her leap into the unknown has paid off.
Martin also says that the demographic of those families is changing.